Acting as an executor is a role that demands not only legal and financial acumen but also a delicate touch of empathy and understanding. It’s a journey that involves navigating through complex paperwork, financial matters, and the emotional terrain of grieving family members.
Here, we’ll explore the essential aspects of being an executor, offering insights, guidance, and support for those stepping into this pivotal role. Whether you’re preparing to serve as an executor or seeking to better understand the intricacies of the process, join us on this exploration of the role of acting as an executor.
Table of Contents
- What is the role of an Executor?
- How do I apply for a grant of probate?
- What is Inheritance Tax?
- Who can act as an Executor?
- When would an assessment of capacity to act as an Executor be required?
- What is a PA14 form?
What is the role of an Executor?
An Executor carries out the instructions left in your Will after you die. They are responsible for overseeing aspects of your estate such as securing your property, gathering all money and assets, valuing the estate and distributing this in accordance with your Will.
They will also need to obtain a grant of Probate, settling any outstanding debts and taxes and attending to funeral arrangements.
The estate will need to be valued at the time of death; this will include the deceased person’s money and assets such as property. Any liabilities that are owed such as mortgages, loans and outstanding bills will need to be deducted from the total estate. It is important to be aware that the estate will also include the deceased person’s share of any assets that are held jointly.
When distributing the estate, any item named in the Will that has been bequeathed to a beneficiary can be given before probate is granted. Bankruptcy can affect a beneficiary receiving an inheritance. A search of the Individual Insolvency Register on GOV.UK would therefore be prudent.
How do I apply for a grant of probate?
If the value of the estate is more than £5,000, the executor will need to apply for a grant of probate. You can apply for a grant of probate by post or online. The GOV.UK website provides more details about this.
What is Inheritance Tax?
Inheritance Tax (also known as IHT) is paid on any estate valued at over £325,000. For example, if a property of the deceased person is worth £500,000, 40% tax is payable on £175,000. If you are married, in a civil partnership, or leaving your estate to charity, then the tax-free allowance can be passed onto the surviving partner or charity.
If there is any IHT due, a valuation from a professional will need to be obtained for any property or investments. It is a requirement to provide comprehensive accounts and valuations to HMRC.
Who can act as an Executor?
People often choose either a professional such as a solicitor or a close family member or trusted friend to act as their Executor. Often people will name more than one Executor since it can be a complex role.
When would an assessment of capacity to act as an Executor be required?
We are often approached by solicitors who require completion of a PA14 form to confirm that a named executor lacks capacity to act in this role, in order that the probate process can be progressed. If there is a question over whether a named executor has capacity to carry out the role, then an assessment of capacity to act as an executor may be required.
It may be that the deceased person chose their executor some considerable time ago but that since that time, their executor has been diagnosed with a health condition with a related cognitive impairment. Or they may not have a confirmed or formal diagnosis of cognitive impairment but day to day might experience difficulties with memory or understanding that could prevent them from carrying out their role as an executor.
If there is any doubt as to a person’s capacity to carry out their duties as an executor of a Will, then a mental capacity assessment of “capacity to act as an executor” should be sought. At TSF our assessors are experienced in completing such assessments in a skilled and sensitive manner. If the person named as executor is no longer able to act in this role, then a PA14 certificate should be completed, enabling a new executor to be appointed.
What is a PA14 form?
A PA14 is a medical certificate that verifies whether a person has the mental capacity to act as an executor. Medical and some Registered Healthcare Professionals (listed on the GOV.UK website) will complete this form if they are satisfied that a person lacks capacity to engage in this role. We can complete PA14s for you alongside our assessment of mental capacity to act as an executor.
TSF Assessments are frequently asked to assess a person’s mental capacity to act as an executor. The criteria for capacity is taken from the Mental Capacity Act (2005).
We understand that it is imperative to have an efficient service when assessing mental capacity to act as an executor. Our Capacity to Act as an Excutor Video Link assessments provide professional, quality reports that are produced in a timely fashion. Alternatively, read more about our Capacity to Act as an Executor service here.
If you require a face-to-face report please contact our office for a quotation, please complete the contact form below:
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